Around 1,000 University of York students are self-isolating

The University of York. Photograph: Gavin Aitchison
8 Oct 2020 @ 5.51 pm
| News

The impact of the rising coronavirus rate in York on students became clearer today.

While the latest figures show 135 people from the University of York have tested positive for Covid-19, the number of students self-isolating has hit 1,000.

And volunteers are being recruited to help deliver food to some of the students stuck in uni accommodation.

City of York Council has sent out an email to its team of volunteers asking for their help. It says: “The quantity of Covid-19 positive tests at the University of York has doubled. There are 1,000 students on campus socially isolating and the University of York needs support to ensure they can deliver food to them.”

It adds: “The University have vans to deliver the food to the accommodation blocks so volunteers would walk to the specific accommodation block and distribute the food from the vans.”

You can register to be a Covid-19 volunteer for City of York Council here.

On and off campus

The University of York Heslington East campus. Photograph © Allan Harris on Flickr

The University of York said the 1,000 students self-isolating were “on and off campus”.

A spokesman said: “We understand that self-isolation can be challenging and is a community-spirited act intended to safeguard others.

“We are committed to taking a supportive and compassionate approach when dealing with our students in self-isolation and have a number of support measures in place to help.

“We have always had a strong culture of volunteering at the University and we are really grateful for any further help and support from the wider community.”

Charlie Croft, assistant director of communities at CYC, said: “Since March, we’ve been asking our valued volunteers to support the city in a number of ways from delivering food to residents who are shielding, to connecting with people to ease their loneliness, to using IT skills to give people online access to information and support.

“Many students have signed up to volunteer with us, and we’re working with the universities and colleges to support our student population where needed.

“So far we have had a great response to this callout to our volunteers.”

Situation at York St John

We also asked York St John University how many of its students were self-isolating. A spokesperson told us “we are not currently publishing data on the number students in self-isolation”.

In a statement, York St John said: “We are supporting a number of students who are self -isolating because they, or someone in their household has symptoms, or they’ve been informed that they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

“However, the circumstances that lead to students self-isolating are varied and do not necessarily relate to university activity.

“In contrast to settings where the majority of students live in university owned or managed accommodation, up to 23 per cent of our students would normally commute from outside of York so not all our self-isolating students live in the local community.

“We are not seeing evidence of transmission on campus. The number of self-isolating students changes on a daily basis – what’s important is that we ensure they follow guidance properly and receive our support to do so.”